Washington off target

Washington off target

1973
Denzel Washington and Viola Rose as Troy and Rose Maxson in Fences. Photograph – Paramount.

 

Fences is the film adaptation of August Wilson’s 1980s play of the same name and while it is filled with rich performances from extremely talented actors it fails to successfully cross mediums.

Denzel Washington (Training Day) directs and stars as working class father Troy Maxson and it explores the patriarchal and racist hellhole that was 1950s America.

You are lured into feeling sorry for Troy and his struggles to make a decent living in a white man’s world but soon realise he’s actually a bastard.

We find out he hasn’t been faithful to his wife of 18 years Rose, played by Viola Davis from Suicide Squad, and starts pushing the rest of his family away as he falls into a pit of anger.

While the dialogue is well acted, the film is very slow to get going and you can’t help but think the screenplay could have adapted better for film.

Even the fence that Troy is building throughout the film stinks of something from a play stage rather than a film device.